Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently said that while using allegations that Pakistan is funding terrorism in India as a political tool may be successful during election campaigns, it does not advance counterterrorism efforts.
During his first trip to India, Bilawal spoke with India Today about issues like terrorism, international cooperation, and India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status. He maintained that Islamophobia, which aimed to incite Hindu sentiment and intimidate Pakistan, was the main motivation behind accusations of Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism in India.
Bilawal stated that Pakistan is willing to address any concerns India may have, provided that India also takes Islamabad’s concerns into account. He brought up the case of Kulbhushan Yadav, a navy commander and state actor from India who is charged with carrying out terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil. He also mentioned unresolved incidents like the terror attacks in Lahore and on the Samjhota Express.
Bilawal noted that India cleared everyone accused in the Samjhota Express case while the Mumbai attack trial is still going on in Pakistan. He proclaimed that terrorism would be unsolvable if it were to become a political issue.
Bilawal also spoke about Pakistan’s dedication to the goals of the Financial Action Task Force, including counterterrorism. He stated once more that Pakistan’s position on dialogue with India is unchanged as long as New Delhi reconsiders the steps it took on August 5, 2019.
In order to combat the potential rise in terrorism following the fall of Kabul, the foreign minister called for cooperation between the international and regional levels. He acknowledged that incidents against minorities do occur in Pakistan when questioned, but he emphasized that the difference lies in how responsible states respond to such incidents.
Bilawal questioned the Indian government’s recent pardon of those responsible for the gang rapes of Muslim women in Gujarat in 2002 and what message that sends to Muslims. He also questioned why, in accordance with UN resolutions, India refuses to hold a referendum in Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir.